Well, the weather has been fabulous in those parts of the country that actually experience the colors of autumn! It hasn’t been too rainy or too cold. So, let me ask you. What has been stopping you from moving your body? If I had to guess, I’d say it’s because you believe that exercise has to be complicated. You feel if you don’t go to a gym or a Tai Chi class or lift weights — you just can’t reap any benefits.
Let me tell you straight up: you’re dead wrong!
Yes, it would be highly beneficial if you did have a regular routine of cardio and strength training 3 to 5 times per week. It would also be beneficial if you regularly invested the maximum out of your paycheck into your 401(k) plan. (Believe me, this is true…even in the current economy.) However, doing SOMETHING is better than nothing — in BOTH situations. Of course, always consult your family physician before beginning any exercise program. Now, allow me make some suggestions.
On nice days, consider a few of the following:
* Drive to a nearby park and walk the trails or along the grassy areas. It’s good for your body and will clear your head from the worries surrounding that 401(k)
* Walk around your neighborhood after work and before dinner. You will actually increase your metabolism before eating, which will cause you to eat less and burn off dinner faster
* If you prefer company, take your dog for a walk (if you have one). If you don’t own one of “man’s best friends”, offer to walk your neighbor’s dog. After a few times, your neighbor may even have the desire to join you. You will now have a walking partner and Fido will actually have “two” friends!
Now, if it’s a cold, dreary, wet, or snowy day:
* Simply throw on a CD and dance your heart out. If you live with other people and feel a little self-conscious about this — well — get up before they do or find a private place in your home and close the door behind you. No one will be able to see you, so you may as well CUT LOOSE!
* Invest in a mini tramp and jump to the music. This is easier on the lower back if you wear good running shoes AND it’s lots of fun. It basically provides the same benefit as jogging.
* Keep your eyes open for a recumbent bike. This bike design is also easier on the lower back. While pedaling, you can view your favorite TV show and 20 - 30 minutes will fly by.
* Let’s not forget the abundance of work-out DVDs. Find one at your fitness level and you will immediately have a work-out buddy. You can often find DVDs on Amazon.com for just a few dollars and most are good as new.
By the way, I bought an Urban Rebounder mini tramp for $129. That was a few years ago. But, you can purchase other brands of mini trampolines at most sporting goods stores and sporting goods departments of retail stores. Costs vary, but don’t forget your local Paper Shop circulars and, of course, the Classifieds. I only paid $90 for my recumbent bike, which I found in a Classified Ad. It was in perfect condition when I bought it two years ago and it still is. Also, don’t forget that soooo many people buy mini tramps and stationary bikes only to have them sit in their bedrooms and function as coat racks. Often times, they look for opportunities to sell them inexpensively. (Not good for them, but good for you!)
One last thought, if you live in a warm, sunny climate either in the desert or by the beach — then, walking along the beach on the sand offers an X-TREME walk! Also, I found some of the best walking experiences in flat, desert areas. It provides the environment for a faster walking pace. And, of course, when it does rain — all of the above tips are for you, too.
So, spend less time on your couch and more time on your floor. Just 20 minutes a day, three to four times a week will provide you with amazing results. You will have more energy, you’ll eat less because you’ll get full faster, and you will sleep better. You’ll even see a difference in your waistline and legs. Who knows? You may just get addicted to your newly found fitness level and decide to join a gym or sign up for Tai Chi!